Bullied to Death: Sirdeaner, Carl

Safe Schools Improvement Act

Carl Walker-Hoover hanged himself because his school classmates tormented him. His mother, Sirdeaner, says, "This is not a kid who would just sit around and say, ‘I want to hurt myself,' or ‘I want to harm myself.'" Carl was active in sports " football, basketball and soccer. He loved learning and was a good student, but his mother said it was at school where he felt the most pain. Sirdeaner says the bullying was constant, and she contacted the school about once a week to report it. "I would tell them Carl was being picked on, he was being teased, they were calling him gay," she says.

Sirdeaner hopes the death of her son is a wake-up call to other parents. "Any parent out there, they have to do whatever is necessary to protect their child, by any means necessary, because the end result is death," she says.

"This was a very frustrating thing for you leading up to this tragic loss," Dr. Phil says to Sirdeaner.

"Yes, it was very frustrating," says the mother of four. "I had informed the school that Carl was having problems and difficulties, and I went to the school with Carl, and I made him tell the administrators who the kids were that were bothering him in the beginning of the school year. I told him to tell the names, and he was afraid. He said that he would be labeled a rat, and he didn't want to name the children, but I made him name the children. And he was specifically being called anti-gay slurs: ‘You must be a girl. You act like you're gay.'"

[AD]"And so he named the kids, and you conveyed all of this information," Dr. Phil says. He acknowledges the matter-of-fact way she tried to work with the school to handle the situation calmly. "Carl was a wonderful and delightful young man."

"He was they type of kid who, if he stayed after school, he would clean the chalk board for his teacher," Sirdeaner says proudly. "And the teachers knew about [the bullying], because I made them aware of it."

Hear Sirdeaner express her feelings of loss and how she's fighting to end bullying.